By Shawn S. Lealos
The Dallas Cowboys opened the season with two straight wins, but have since lost quarterback Tony Romo and five consecutive games. Reeling as they head into an important divisional rematch with a Philadelphia Eagles team that they beat before their free fall, the Cowboys just released their starting running back while seeing Romo starting to practice again in anticipation of his return. Here is a look at this week’s headlines from Dallas.
Cowboys Release Joseph Randle
The biggest news coming out of the Dallas Cowboys camp this week concerns the release of Joseph Randle. When the Cowboys let DeMarco Murray leave the team via free agency, the idea was that Joseph Randle could immediately step in and take over the starting role. Randle talked big, saying that Murray left a lot of meat on the bone last year and that he was ready to do better. However, problems persisted. Last year, he was arrested for shoplifting and then was arrested again in the offseason for drug possession and alleged domestic abuse. Randle injured his oblique two weeks ago and then the NFL called him in to meet. Seems like they will suspend him for the two arrests. Dallas made the tough decision and let the troubled running back go. It is now time for Darren McFadden to prove he is still a top line starter. “We’re in good shape at running back,” Jerry Jones said, “or we wouldn’t have made this decision.”
Tony Romo Returns to Practice
The Dallas Cowboys are excited to be getting their starting quarterback back in the lineup in possibly three weeks. The first game that Romo is eligible to play is the Miami Dolphins game the Sunday before Thanksgiving. That might be a little quick, because then Romo would have to play in two games in four days after missing two months of the season with a broken collarbone. However, Romo is getting ready to return and was back on the field this week throwing the ball during practice. Since he was placed on the temporary injured reserve, Romo has been helping out as a sort of assistant coach on the sidelines. “One of the things about Tony is in his absence he always stays engaged,” head coach Jason Garrett said. “But it will be nice to see him out there throwing a little bit. He was throwing a little bit last week. That’s always a positive sign.”
Kellen Moore Sitting on Sidelines
There are two names that a lot of Dallas fans are talking about this week. The first is Kellen Moore, the third string quarterback behind Matt Cassel and Brandon Weeden. When Tony Romo went down to injury, Weeden stepped in to start with Moore as his backup. Dallas then traded for Cassel, possibly showing they don’t have faith in Moore as a starter. Weeden lost three games and the Cowboys turned to Matt Cassel. After two starts, Cassel is 0-2 and Cowboys fans are anxious. Kellen Moore is the winningest quarterback in college football history, but hasn’t started a single NFL game since joining the NFL. “Matt is going to be our starting quarterback this week,” Garrett said when asked. If Cassel can’t beat the Philadelphia Eagles, will Kellen Moore get a chance against Tampa Bay?
Cowboys Sign Trey Williams from Redskins Practice Squad
The second name that has popped up is former Texas A&M running back Trey Williams. He was on the Washington Redskins practice squad, which made him fair game for a team to cherry pick, and that is what Dallas did. Williams will join Darren McFadden, Christine Michael, and Rod Smith on the Cowboys roster. While a lot of fans wanted to see Michael get a chance, he hasn’t done enough to warrant playing over McFadden. However, Williams is a special case. He is a short, stocky, running back and he might end up filling in the spot left by Lance Dunbar, who was a huge weapon as a pass catching running back before his season ending injury. “He has good quickness and explosiveness and he’s made some plays in a short period of time,” Garrett said. “You watch his tape from the preseason, we feel good about him. We liked him coming out of school and we just want to give him an opportunity.”
Shawn S. Lealos is a freelance writer who graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He writes for a variety of national publications and has over 15 years of sports journalism experience. Follow Shawn on Twitter @sslealos. Examiner.com.